ADDRESS OF MR. TRAN HUU CHIEU
DEPUTY GENERAL DIRECTOR OF VIETNAM NATIONAL SHIPPING LINES
AT THE OPENING CEREMONY OF THE VPA’S ANNUAL MEETING 2008
11 SEPTEMBER 2008, NHA TRANG CITY
It is my great pleasure to represent Vinalines attending the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Vietnam Seaports Association (VPA) held in Nha Trang city – Khanh Hoa, a province with many projects of tourism investment and port building which have been actively developed . On behalf of the management of Vinalines I extend my warmest greetings and wish health to all delegates and to VPA port members.
Time is going fast, nearly one year since the VPA’s 6th Main Meeting held in Vung Tau we have seen that the Association has actively cooperated in solving a lot of issues in the past and time being. I have agreed with the evaluation of the Executive Committee on the activities of VPA and each member in last year and the orientation of activities in the years coming as reported. Although the member of the Association has been increased but it is still small on the quantity in comparison with the total of ports of the whole country, however these members are obviously the main ports of the Vietnam seaport system. Activities of the Association not only has integrated the country members but also developed the relationship with associations of other countries in the region and has supplied a lot of information on science and technology to the members to study and apply for their businesses. Last year, VPA has successfully carried out its duties integrating members in the country and steadily developing its activities outside to the region and the global, especially cooperating with the other associations in the field to assist the members to better implement their duties in port investment and operations. Vinalines expresses its sincere thanks for VPA’s support in recent years and expect to have the continue support of VPA in the years coming.
Together with the activities in the fields of economics and sea transports, the national seaport system keeps the role as the bridge of maritime transport in domestic and between our country and others in the region and worldwide, and also play the important role in the development of economics and trade of Vietnam. In the course of industrialization and modernization in our country, urging to produce merchandises, especially for exporting, which keeps an important role. To effectively urge transporting and exporting of merchandises that need to develop a strong enough fleet of vessels, a modernized system of seaport facilities, and a completed system of maritime services because more than 90% of merchandises are exported from our country by sea transport.
Basing on the Vietnam Communist Party’s strategy of sea economy strategy until 2020 with the action plan initiated by the Government, the economy of the country expected to increase together with the development of the global maritime market, it is convinced that the duties and aims are imposed upon our country in large scale that need to have a break-out in the investment and development of sea ports to valuably contribute in the development of the national economics as a whole..
As the result of the inspection on the planning of Vietnam seaport system implemented in 2007 by the Government’s supervision team led by Vice Minister Tran Doan Tho it is viewed that: Vietnam seaport system comprises of 160 ports/305 wharves with the total wharf length is of 36,164m. Vietnam seaports are managed and operated by different ministries, sectors, corporations, local government, industrial management zones, economics investment zones. Meanwhile Vinalines has only managed and operated 11 ports with 65 wharves and the total of wharf length is 9.5 Km, composing of Cai Lan port (Quang Ninh), Hai Phong port, Doan Xa port, Vat Cach port, Transvina port, Viconship port (in Hai Phong city), Da Nang port, Ba Ngoi port (Khanh Hoa), Saigon (HCM city), Can Tho port, and Cai Cui (Can Tho city).
With peculiarity of Vietnam seaport system, the ports managed and operated by Vinalines have been in the same as the situation of Vietnam seaport system:
- Almost Vinalines’ seaports have long access channels, limited alongside depths. Although Vietnam has geographical position near the international maritime route with many advantagous sites for port building and developing, but in fact most of Vietnam ports situated in the rivers. Due to long access channels with limited depth that causes high expenses for dredging and operations resulting in the limited capacity for big ship to arrive and increasing expenses to ship and cargo owners. Ports under Vinalines of which 2 largest ports are Saigon and Hai Phong also situated in the rivers, Hai Phong Port has the access channel is around 40 Km and Saigon Port more than 80 Km.
- Infrastructure is not synchronously built up. Almost port wharves are situated in the cities narrow and populated that limits hinter land transport, limits land resources for expanding warehouse and yard system.
- Lack of modernized equipment resulted in low cargo handling rates, most of ports under Vinalines are multi-purposed terminals that have been rehabilitated or rebuilt up with several container terminals such as Cai Lan Port, Hai Phong Port and Saigon Port, however it is in need to be equipped with modernized gantry cranes to increase higher rates in handling containers.
- Operations and management are not actively in viewing at most of ports, and also IT and EDI are not largely applied although ports under Vinalines have been formed in many years with a lot of experienced staffs and workers. In recent years, almost main ports enhance investment of IT network and information systems but in fact the application is not effectively to their operations and management. Several ports have applied some measures in operations and management by promptly accessing the market place and expanding relationship with their customers through IT system in order to settle information issues faster and safer and reduce procedures of documentation. However, it is quite different between our country and the the others in the region and worldwide where automatic marketing system in doing business and EDI supplying information in services have been largely applied.
- Up to present there is not deep water port built to play the role as an international transshipment port capable of accomodating big container ships so most of cargoes exported from Vietnam have to be transshipped via other ports in the region such as Hong Kong, Singapore to cause more expenses for transport of cargo to 20%-30%.
- Ports under Vinalines have carried out their functions of cargo handling and warehousing as well as supplied some maritime services to sea-going vessels but not to play as a role of logistics center in reality.
The Resolution of the 4th Meeting of the Centre Party Executive Committee affirmed the 21st century is “the century of ocean” as worldwide assumed. The orientation of sea economics strategy of Vietnam until 2020 with the aims as affirmed by the Party: “ By 2020 the country will become a strong nation which can benefit from the ocean and firmly ensure the country sovereignty in ocean and also islands to contribute in the course of modernization and industrialization for the country more and more rich and strong than ever. From the year of 2020 maritime industry would be the core of the sea economy, and the orientation of the Party has defined “ Promptly developing the national port system and synchronously building several ports with regional and international standard, especially building deep water ports in the 3 zones of North, Central and South, to form up as corridors to ocean for international transaction. It is in need in increasing investment, improving and modernizing technical infrastructure, promptly overcoming ports’ backward technology, quickly upgrading rates of cargo handling, decreasing expenses to ensure competitiveness in international integration.
To reach the above aims the Vietnam seaport system needs to have some measures as follow:
- Projects of port development
Projects of port development of Vietnam should be overviewed, studied, and rectified with the vision at least by the year of 2050 or further more because the investment for the building of ports all have the life time from one century or over. Projects of port development need to be defined the issues such as the location, function, construction scale, mode of management, policy to develop and mechanism to mobilize the capital for port development, to synchronously plan for developing of access channels, on land, by rail and waterway transport, and system of water drain and supply and electricity.
- Orientation of investment and development for the period of 2010-2020
Countries powerful in sea economics all have international transshipment ports to lastingly meet with the trend of increasing vessels’ tonnage of the worldwide, and are also the center of the national port system. Port development in the coming time, besides the upgrading and investing to the existing ports it is in need to centralize for building deep water ports capable of receiving bigger vessels as the trend of increasing tonnage of the worldwide vessel fleets as the demand of cargo transport especially containers in the economics market. In the North, by the year of 2020, the project of Hai Phong Port an international entry has the scale consisting of 4 container berths with the total wharf length of 1,200 meters and 2 bulk-cargo berths with 500 meters capable of receiving bulk-cargo vessels of 80,000 DWT, container vessels of up to 6,000 TEUs, and 5 break-bulk cargo berths with the total of wharf length of 1,000 meters capable of receiving vessels of 30,000 DWT. In the Central, by the year of 2010 and the years coming, Van Phong international container transshipment port will be built in order to transship containers as the same as Hong Kong and Singapore ports, etc. serving effectively the demand of transporting cargo of the country to take part in reducing of transport expenses and strengthening capacity of competition for cargo.exported from Vietnam and also to urge the development of economics and society of the region and the whole country. By the year of 2010 it should be invested 2 berths with the total wharf length of 690 meters capable of receiving 6,000 – 9,000 TEUs, by 2015 Van Phong international transshipment ports should be continuously developed 4 berths with the total wharf length of 1,000-1500 meters and 6 berths of around 2,400 meters by the year of 2020 to have the capacity of receiving vessels of 150,000-200,000 DWT and container vessels of 10,000-12,000 TEUs. In the South, all efforts to complete the projects of port development in the areas of Vung Tau and Ho Chi Minh city in these period.
- Mobilization of capital for the investment and development plan
At present, capital to serve the projects of port development is a crucial issue to the companies. In the period of 2006-2010 and the coming years the demand of capital for the plan of investment and development for Vietnam seaport system is big amount. Due to the Government support on privileged credit and budget being different and limited we have to define the measures to mobilize capital for developing the system of Vietnam seaports with planning and capacity as below:
. To borrow loans from local banks to serve the projects for the building of port infrastructure however the interest rates should be reasonable.
. To consider sources of international capital through the international finance investors and borrow loans from overseas banks.
. Through the government’s sources of capital by direct issuing of international bonds and bonds issued by the companies.
. To modernize the handling equipment by financial leasing for the equipment at seaports.
. To proceed with the forming of joint-venture with shipping lines, port operations groups to build, operate and manage ports.
. To industrialize the activities of port operations and set up distribution centre in the hinterland.
. Port operators should cooperate with one another for stably keeping of the tariffs to ensure benefit in the process of investment and business, and at the same time to increase the cooperation and assistance one another in their business, supporting of the equipment and sharing of information, experience and business measures.
. To propose the Ministry of Transport presenting the Prime Minister to approve the adjustment of the projects of Vietnam seaport system basing on that the companies could proceed with their investment and development.
. To propose the Government, the Ministry of Transport give prior capitals to the focal projects concerning infrastructure of sea transport (port access roads, access channels, maritime safety beacons, IT system, lighthouses, etc.), particularly rail and airway networks link to ports.
. To propose the provincial people’s committees assist and support in the process of land clearance to ensure the implementation of projects (Hiep Phuoc, Van Phong, etc.)
. To propose the People’s Committees of Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh cities permit Vinalines, the companies of Da Nang Port and Saigon Port proceeding with the functional convertion of Song Han Terminal and Nha Rong – Khanh Hoi port complex based on the direction of the Prime Minister.
. To propose local authorities cooperate with investors in training and supplying of the labor force to ports to be new built.
On the occasion of attending the VPA’s Annual Meeting 2008, I, on behalf of the management of Vinalines, express our sincere thanks to the Party and the Government, the ministries, the departments, the people’s committee of provinces and cities for the valuable support and assistance by that Vinalines and its member companies have gained a lot of success in our business. Thank for the support of the professional associations for giving chances to Vinalines’ member companies to cooperate as well as connect their businesses with the companies in the country and overseas also. Thanks to cargo owners, ship owners domestic and overseas for their cooperation for implementing the strategies with the aims to develop Vinalines day by day stabler and stronger. We do hope to have valuable support from the distinguished delegates in the time coming.
Wish distinguished delegates and all of you attending the Meeting health and success in career and works. Wish the Meeting success.